"Richard Beck is one of the most important and fascinating minds in contemporary Christianity, and this exploration on the devil and demons is his best work yet. Lively, engaging, and profoundly relevant, Reviving Old Scratch manages to both tickle and challenge, inform and delight. Beck forges a fresh way forward that avoids the conservative tendency to overspiritualize the devil and demons on the one hand and the progressive tendency to reduce these powerful forces to social issues on the other. A must-read for skeptics and thinkers, Reviving Old Scratch surprises in all the right ways. I couldn't put it down!"
Reviving Old Scratch
Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted
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The devil has fallen on hard times. Surveys say that even the majority of Christians doubt Satan’s existence. Burdened by doubts, skeptical believers find themselves divorced from Jesus’ dramatic confrontation with Satan in the Gospels and from the struggle that galvanized the early church.
In Reviving Old Scratch, popular blogger and theologian Richard Beck reintroduces the devil to the modern world with a biblical, bold, and urgent vision of spiritual warfare: we must resist the devil by joining the kingdom of God’s subversive campaign to interrupt the world with love.
Beck shows how conservative Christians too often overspiritualize the devil and demons, and progressive Christians reduce these forces to social justice issues. By understanding evil as a very real force in the world, we are better able to name it for what it is and thus to combat it as Jesus did.
Beck’s own work in a prison Bible study and at a church for recovering addicts convinced him to take Satan more seriously, and they provide compelling illustrations as he challenges the contemporary—and strangely safe—versions of evil forces. The beliefs of liberals and conservatives alike will be tested by Beck’s groundbreaking ideas, fascinating stories, and clear thinking. Because if Jesus took Satan seriously, says Beck, then so should we.
Winner of the 2017 Book of the Year Award from The Academy of Parish Clergy!